Books for Beginners

Commodity & Futures Trading Books for Beginners

There are quite a few futures trading books for the beginner out there.  Below, I'll recommend those that I think are best.  As a beginner it is very important to read and learn as much as possible before attempting to trade.  Being confused about important details in the middle of a trade is not a good situation to be in.

1. The Futures Game: Who Wins, Who Loses, & Why - by Richard Teweles and Frank Jones

futures gameThis book takes a cold, hard look at futures trading.  It's a very academic and thorough approach to the fundamentals of the futures markets.  Thus, it is well suited to readers who want an intellectual explanation of the subject.  It certainly isn't for the faint of heart, but you'll get a sober and realistic analysis of what futures is all about.  Though published a few decades ago, its penetrating clarity about the fundamentals of futures trading is probably still unmatched to this day.  

2. Fundamentals of the Futures Market - by Donna Kline

Written by an acknowledged expert and TV commentator in the field, this work is a very comprehensive introduction to the futures markets.  The focus is more on the purpose and mechanics of futures markets, rather than on analysis and trading strategies.  Yet, there is a fair treatment of these latter subjects and overall it offers the beginner a sound introduction to futures trading.

3. A Trader's First Book on Commodities - by Carley Garner

This very recent publication, written by an experienced futures broker and in an accessible style, offers down-to-earth explanations of complex topics.  From the author's style, one can easily see that she has spent much time explaining futures trading to those will little or no knowledge.  This is certainly indispensable for those absolute beginners wanting to understand the basics of a very complex topic.  

4. Starting Out in Futures Trading - by Mark Powers

Going through numerous editions, this work has always been regarded as a good general primer for futures trading.  Written in straightfoward language and in a logical format, it is as good a choice as any other for those wanting to learn the basics of futures trading.  The final chapters of the book focus heavily on financial and stock index futures.


5. Getting Started in Futures - by Todd Lofton

Methodically laid out and with precise explanations of important concepts, Todd Lofton's book has gone through many editions.  And for good reason, many have sworn by this book as the best general introduction to the futures markets.  It would be difficult to find another work written in such a straightforward manner while also covering so much ground.  


6. A Complete Guide to the Futures Markets - by Jack Schwager

This book is actually a bit more advanced than the others, but it is so comprehensive and well-written that many consider it to be the futures trading bible.  It does include a general section on the basics in the beginning, but most of the book is devoted to a thorough examination of fundamental and technical analysis, as well as options and spread trading.  It was written in 1984, but the material is just as valid today as it was then.